Monday, November 18, 2013

Tropical Mockingbird

Mimus gilvus
The Tropical Mockingbird is a creature than can be found in South and Central America, as well as on a handful of Caribbean Islands. They are residents in there locations-- meaning they do not generally migrate. These birds live in open habitats, and can commonly be found in human-inhabited areas. They feed on insects, as well as on fruits.

These birds can be identified by their grey heads and backs, dark wings and tail, and by the two thin white stripes that run across each wing. Males and females look alike.

Unlike its closest relative, the Northern Mockingbird, Tropical Mockingbirds do not mimic the songs of other species. They sing their own tunes (which they sometimes copy from each other), and the songs can be quite long and are often repeated several times.

Attracting a mate is one of the purposes for these songs. Males will sing and build a nest. If a female responds, she will help him to finish the nest and the pair will feed and raise a clutch together. If no females respond to a singing male, he will abandon his nest and find a new location.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : South and Central America
Size : Length up to 10in (25cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Mimidae -- Genus : Mimus -- Species : M. gilvus
Image : Brian Gratwicke

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